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My 50K walk with Multiple Sclerosis

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Most of us take walking for granted. It's just something we do. We pop out of bed in the morning, zip around during the day, and get off our feet at night. It's not something we think about until something happens that changes how we move.

April 21nd, 2007 is an anniversary for me. On that date, I attended a 5K MS Walk. Having been diagnosed with MS a few years before, it seemed important to support others sharing the disease. After purchasing the MS shirt, I headed to the starting line about 100 yards away. The starting line also happened to be the finish line for me. The pain was too much to participate in the event. That date is considered an anniversary because it demarcates one of the lowest points in my travel with Multiple Sclerosis.

In 2007, MS had me wondering which path life was going to take. It was painful to walk, I could barely use a cup or write because of hand tremors, and staying awake was a fight. My career, marriage, savings, house, car, and health were gone. Homelessness was avoided with the intervention of a generous relative. I was unsure if the future included the inability to walk or if I would be stuck with pain and physical limitations. Everything I read indicated that the future was not going to be easy and would probably go downhill.

The eighth anniversary of that walk was celebrated with another walk. In April of 2015, I completed a 50K (about 30 miles) solo hike across Peter's Mountain, Sharp Mountain, and Stoney Mountain on the Appalachian Trail. The hike took 10-1/2 hours to complete and included some 1000 foot climbs. As always, I met many wonderful people, took a nap in the leaves, enjoyed fresh spring water (filtered of course!), briefly sat around a fire pit with other hikers at the Peter's Mountain Shelter, and used only 2 Band-Aid's on my knees. The following Saturday included another 40K hike and I am planning a 70K single day hike for later this year (4-State AT Challenge).

​Eight years on, there is a big pump in my belly and tube up the spine that allow me to walk. But now, the downhill trek I was on has been replaced by many stream crossings and a capstone walking achievement. After the 50K walk, there was a different kind of pain in my legs ... and it felt good.

I had an appointment with the Neurologist the day after my 50K hike. As usual, we spoke about mobility, pain, and any new symptoms. For the first time, I was able to smile when I told him that there was pain in my legs.

Updated 04-23-2015 at 20:50 by Buttercup01



  1. bettybadass's Avatar
    Very inspirational!
  2. Razor Burn's Avatar
    So rad.

    My mother has Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and it's been hell watching her go from the spry, agile woman who used to chase me around the house when I was being a little punk to being the spry woman who gets around via scooter.

    Granted, she could still chase me around if she wanted to, but I've since ceased to be much of a menace around her.

    Thank you for walking through it and sharing your story!

    - Razor Burn -
    Updated 04-22-2015 at 18:52 by Razor Burn (Grammar stuff.)